Intercultural Business Communication Research
De Montfort University (DMU) is one of five higher education institutions in the country which has been chosen to help secure the UK’s position as a leader in international education.
Professor Lixian Jin and Dr Victoria Yun Zhou from DMU in Leicester (UK) are collaborating with Professor Zhilong Tian and Professor Weiwei Fan from Huazhong University of Science & Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China, on a project funded by the British Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education (PMI2).
Launched in April 2006, PMI2 is a five year strategy which aims to secure the UK's position as a leader in international education and sustain the growth of UK international education delivered at home and overseas.
The 12 month’s funding awarded to DMU is part of PMI2’s Connect programme for Higher Education international partnerships in research co-operation, collaborative programme delivery, international mobility of UK students, partnership development grants and China-UK collaborative partnerships in entrepreneurship and employability.
The grant will enable the research team to work with HUST on research into intercultural business communication practices in UK and China-based international companies. The researchers will also design intercultural communication training programmes which, alongside the findings from the research, will be implemented in business-related degrees in British and Chinese universities.
Professor Jin, the UK project leader, is a Professor of Linguistics and Intercultural Learning at DMU and the Director of the Centre for Intercultural Research in Communication and Learning (CIRCL). She is a visiting professor at a number of leading universities in China, including the People’s University of China and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.
She teaches a postgraduate course in Intercultural Business Communication at DMU, which brings together business, language and international expertise, is designed to give students a competitive edge in the global job market.
This is the second time Professor Jin has been awarded funding for a PMI2 project. The first grant was for successful research between DMU and the National University of Malaysia (UKM) on language development for Malay and Chinese children and constructing assessment tools for speech and language therapy.
Professor Jin said: “We are excited to work with our Chinese university partners on this project. We hope to work together to address this global education challenge and enhance the employability of future workforces.”
The project also has the support of the East Midlands China Business Bureau (part of East Midlands Development Agency), and includes work with Sino-British business partners, on training and dissemination of workshops.
Jason Feehily, Head of the East Midlands China Business Bureau, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this initiative, by providing De Montfort University with advice and information based on our knowledge and experience of both assisting Chinese businesses to set up in the UK, and helping East Midlands companies to operate in China. The project will enable a greater understanding to be gained of the business cultures of our two countries, providing businesses and graduates in the East Midlands with valuable skills.”
Professor Zhilong Tian is Professor of Marketing and Strategic Management and Professor Weiwei Fan is the Dean in the School of Foreign Languages and an expert in intercultural communication at Huazhong University of Science & Technology in Wuhan, China.
Dr Victoria Yun Zhou is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance and member of CIRCL and ACORN (Anglo-China Open Research Network), specialising in financial business management and professional communication.